Showtime TV aims to hit breakeven target this year
Middle East pay-TV operator Showtime hopes to add between 50,000 and 100,000 subscribers in 2003. It currently has around 250,000 subscribers and the operator could reach the cashflow breakeven point in the next year.
Showtime has an average monthly revenue per subscriber (ARPU) of around $55. With its pay-per-view (PPV) services showing healthy buy rates, this figure could increase still further. Around 80 percent of its subscriber base takes one of the top two packages priced at $50 or more.
Showtime recently launched the first all Arabic premium movie channel, Al-Shasha, as it bids to improve its localized programming. Around 85 percent of Showtime's customer base are Arabic speakers, so the development of Al-Shasha is an important development. The operator launched a 10 channel PPV movies service in March 2002.
In terms of PPV, Showtime's first foray into sports PPV was covering the Tyson/Lewis fight last June. Even though the fight took place during working hours in the Middle East, the buy rates were considerably higher than expected.
There are 30 million television households in the region and Showtime operates across a range of territories. There are potentially 800,000 homes for pay-TV in the region. Showtime's main markets are far from saturation point. So, the main challenge over the next year will be to improve subscriber numbers. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)